Riley M. Tidwell was born Sept 3,1923 in Fairfield Texas. He grew up on a farm with his family until his Mother passed away when he was 9 Years old. Another family then took him in where he was raised until he joined the Texas National Guard at the age of 17. He then joined the B Company 36th Division of the Army.

After coming home he learned of a story that was written by Ernie Pyle about his beloved Captain Henry T. Waskow. This became the story of his life and after his marriage to my mother we came to know this Captain even though we had never met him. We had his picture in the living room, there were newspaper stories through out the years and many memories brought to life by these stories. I hoped some day to meet this Captain's family and to get to know these people who had so touched my Father's life.

There are many memories of my Dad and of growing up in a home where he taught you to be honest, and kind. My fondest memory of him was at my 9th grade prom, for you see he riot only was a chaperone but he was my date. Yes, my escort, and he became the life of the dance. I bet he must have danced every dance there with every one of the girls. We had a ball, to remember. The next time he was at a school function was my high school graduation. The same girls there were the ones from 9th grade, and they still remembered him.

Dad was a great Father, Uncle, and Grandfather. I wish he could have been here to see his children's children's grow for they to would have some great memories to share. I close with,

Dear Dad,
I miss you more every day and wish you were here to see your grandchildren and great grandchildren grow and become part of your life. You were the best Father anyone could ever have, but most of all I miss my Best Friend. You will always be in my heart and I known your spirit will guide me through life until I see you again. I wish you could see this wonderful, gift my daughter has give to me, Your Great Grandson Austin Riley Baker. I hope that he grows up to be the kind of person you were, My Gentle Giant. Rest easy, for you will always be in my memories. I love you.

Your daughter,

Please visit:
Cherokee County Historical Commission
Oral History Interview with Riley Tidwell


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